Al Hilal Omdurman assistant coach Fathi Bashir (Basha) has disclosed that first-choice goalkeeper Salim Jamal is unlikely to start in the first leg of their CAF Champions League preliminary round qualifier against Vipers SC at the St. Mary’s Stadium, Kitende on Saturday.
Basha expressed concern of throwing the goalkeeper back into action immediately since he didn’t return to the club after the international break.
Jamal was part of the Uganda Cranes team that was involved in the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers doubleheader against South Sudan earlier this month. And only joined the squad on Tuesday in Kampala.
“I haven’t made up my mind yet on who starts (in goal),” Basha told Football256.
“He (Jamal) came late to camp and needs to show that he is ready and there after we shall decide who starts in goal but we have not yet decided,” he added.
Jamal played in all Hilal’s six games in last season’s Champions League but could lose his place for the game to deputies Younis Eltayeb Ali and Mohamed Abooja.
Al-Hilal are already in the country, travelling as earlier as Tuesday, four days prior to the game, and according to Basha, preparations for the game are very key.
“You know we respect Vipers and we are preparing ourselves well for this game and go out there and see what will happen,” Basha said.
This will be the first meeting between the two sides and although the Sudanese team looks stronger on paper, they are not carried away and will respect their opponents Vipers.
While Vipers will be fighting hard to reach the group stages of the CAF Champions League for the first time.
Al Hilal will rely on their history in the competition after they reached the group stages last year, they also reached the Champions League semi-finals in 2015.